Poll: Illinois voters view political corruption as common - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poll: Illinois voters view political corruption as common

Poll: Illinois voters view political corruption as common

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(KFVS) - Political corruption is an issue many in Illinois view as almost commonplace.

That's according to a new poll out this week from Southern Illinois University. SIU's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute polled 1001 registered Illinois voters and learned that 89-percent of those polled feel corruption is at least somewhat common in Illinois politics, with 53 percent of those saying they feel it is very common.

Pollsters say the results aren't surprising, but do shed a light on Illinois’ sad history of corrupt politicians.

"I think the reason so many people think there's so much corruption in the state is that historically, there has been a lot, more so than in many other states," said director David Yepsen of SIU's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. “We’ve had governors in prison, but it's also local officials. Little things that go on that pop up in the news here or there, and the cumulative total of that is to really make people feel that corruption is a big problem."

County and city governments fared better in public opinion, except in Chicago where 54 percent of those polled said they feel corruption is very common in local politics.

Comparatively, only half the Windy City's percentage of downstate voters said they hold that opinion. Twenty-eight percent of those polled said they feel corruption is very common in downstate politics.

"Too many politicians and people in public life see public service as a means of personal gain; to make money for themselves, to get their friends a job," said Yepsen. "Until we return public service to public service, where you're actually doing something for people and that's your motive for doing it, then we're going to have this problem."

The poll of 1001 registered voters across the state conducted Feb. 12 -25 has a margin for error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The survey found the following:

89 percent of Illinoisans feel corruption is somewhat common in the state, with 53 percent believing it's very common.

79 percent say corruption at the federal level is at least somewhat common, with 45 percent saying it's very common.

62 percent of all Illinoisans believe county or city political corruption is at least somewhat common, with 35 percent reporting local corruption to be very common.

However, 85 percent of those living in Chicago believe county or city political corruption is at least somewhat common, with 55 percent perceiving local corruption to be very common.

60 percent of respondents report that state or federal corruption has a good amount or quite a bit of an impact on their daily lives.On average, 45 percent of Illinoisans think county or city corruption has a good amount or quite a bit of an impact on their daily lives.

This finding varies significantly when broken down further:60 percent of people living in Chicago perceive county or city corruption to have a good amount or quite a bit of an impact on their daily lives.

45 percent of people living in Chicago Suburbs perceive county or city corruption to have a good amount or quite a bit of an impact on their daily lives.

Only 35 percent of people living downstate perceives county or city corruption to have a good amount or quite a bit of an impact on their daily lives.

TABLE 1: How common do Illinoisans perceive local political corruption to be?

Now thinking about your city or town, how common do you think political corruption by local government employees is? We’re talking about elected officials, political appointees, and civil servants.

Total

Chicago

Chicago Suburbs

Downstate

Very Rare

13.5 percent

3.5 percent

15.8 percent

16.3 percent

Somewhat Rare

20.7 percent

9.5 percent

22.4 percent

25.3 percent

Somewhat Common

27.3 percent

30 percent

27 percent

25.9 percent

Very Common

34.8 percent

54.5 percent

30.8 percent

28.2 percent

(Don’t Know)

3.8 percent

2.5 percent

4 percent

4.3 percent

TABLE 2: How common do Illinoisans perceive state political corruption to be?

Now thinking about your state, how common do you think political corruption by State government employees is? We’re talking about elected officials, political appointees, and civil servants.



Total

Chicago

Chicago Suburbs

Downstate

Very Rare

1.4 percent

3 percent            

1 percent

2 percent

Somewhat Rare

7.1 percent

9.5 percent

6.6 percent

6.3 percent

Somewhat Common

35.6 percent

45 percent

35.6 percent

29 percent

Very Common

53.1 percent

39.5 percent

54.2 percent

60 percent

(Don’t Know)

3 percent

3 percent

3 percent

3 percent

TABLE 3: How common do Illinoisans perceive national political corruption to be?

Now thinking about the country, how common do you think political corruption by Federal government employees is? We’re talking about elected officials, political appointees, and civil servants.


Total

Chicago

Chicago Suburbs

Downstate

Very Rare

4.7 percent

5.5 percent

4.6 percent

4.3 percent

Somewhat Rare

12.4 percent

18 percent

13.6 percent

6.6 percent

Somewhat Common

34.6 percent

37 percent

33.6 percent

34.6 percent

Very Common

44.8 percent

34 percent

44.2 percent

52.8 percent

(Don’t Know)

3.6 percent

5.5 percent

4 percent

1.7 percent

TABLE 4: How much impact does local corruption have on Illinoisans’ lives?

How much of an impact do you think political corruption at the county or city level has on your life on a daily basis?


Total

Chicago

Chicago Suburbs

Downstate

None at all 12.2 percent

7 percent

12 percent

16 percent

Some, but not much
40.7 percent

31.5 percent

40.4 percent

47.2 percent

A good amount

23.5 percent

29.5 percent

23 percent

20.3 percent

Quite a bit

21.2 percent

29.5 percent

21.8 percent

14.6 percent

(Don’t Know)

2.5 percent

2.5 percent

2.8 percent

2 percent

TABLE 5: How much impact does state corruption have on Illinoisans’ lives?

How much of an impact do you think political corruption at the state level has on your life on a daily basis?


Total

Chicago

Chicago Suburbs

Downstate

None at all

6.1 percent

8 percent

5.4 percent

6 percent

Some, but not much

31.1 percent

34 percent

32.8 percent

26.3 percent

A good amount

29.2 percent

28 percent

28.4 percent

31.2 percent

Quite a bit

31.3 percent

27 percent

30.8 percent

34.9 percent

(Don’t Know)

2.4 percent

3 percent

2.6 percent

1.7 percent

TABLE 6: How much impact does national corruption have on Illinoisans’ lives?

How much of an impact do you think political corruption at the Federal level has on your life on a daily basis?


Total

Chicago

Chicago Suburbs

Downstate

None at all

7 percent

8.5 percent

8.6 percent

3.3 percent

Some, but not much

31 percent

38 percent

30.4 percent

27.2 percent

A good amount

24.9 percent

23 percent

24.8 percent

26.3 percent

Quite a bit

34.7 percent

28 percent

33.4 percent

41.2 percent

(Don’t Know)

2.5 percent

2.5 percent

2.8 percent

2 percent

Live telephone interviews were conducted by Customer Research International of San Marcos, Texas. Cell phone interviews accounted for 30 percent of the sample. A Spanish language version of the questionnaire and a Spanish-speaking interviewer were made available. Customer Research International reports no Illinois political clients. The survey was paid for with non-tax dollars from the Institute's endowment fund.

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